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Shapiro's Week 11 NFL picks: Patriots will make it two in a row

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November 18th, 2020

Homefield advantage has not been much of a factor in 2020. In fact, heading into Week 10 teams playing at home were just 65-67-1 straight up and 61-70-2 against the spread. Things flipped a bit though last week with 11 of 14 home teams earning victories. Only the Colts on Thursday night, the Buccaneers in a bounce back spot in Charlotte, and the Vikings on Monday outscored their opponents on the road. We shall see if home teams performing well is a trend that continues, or if it was just an outlier.

The most dramatic of the home wins came in Arizona, where it appeared that Josh Allen marched Buffalo down the field for a game-winning score only to be one-upped by Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. The Bills still sit atop the AFC East, but the Dolphins and Patriots both picked up a game on them. The Cardinals sit in a three-way tie in the loaded NFC West with a huge game on Thursday night vs. the Seahawks.

Onto Week 11!

New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans

Sun, November 22 2020, 6:00 PM

Houston Texans

Spread

+2.5

Moneyline

+110

Total

O 48

New England Patriots

Spread

-2.5

Moneyline

-130

Total

U 48

Heading into Week 10, it appeared likely that 2020 was going to be the first year since 2008 that the NFL playoffs would not include the Patriots. New England lost to Denver, San Francisco, and Buffalo in consecutive weeks and needed a last second 51-yard field goal from Nick Folk to beat the winless Jets.

However, counting out Bill Belichick is never a wise move. Arguably the greatest head coach of all time devised a stellar game plan and got a little help from Mother Nature, allowing his team to best Baltimore as touchdown underdogs at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots are not Super Bowl contenders and still may not make the playoffs, but they have found their identity: Running the football and playing sound defense. They head to Houston to take on a Texans team that has given up a league high 1,507 yards on the ground, 5.2 yards per carry, and have lost eight of their last 10 contests against New England. Plus, like many teams, Houston has proven to have little to no homefield advantage as evidenced by their 1-3 record both straight up and against the number in NRG Stadium.

Houston is already looking ahead to 2021, while the Patriots have found new life with their big primetime win in Week 10. Give me Belichick vs. Romeo Crennel every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Pick: Patriots -2.5


Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Football Team

Sun, November 22 2020, 6:00 PM

Washington Football Team

Spread

-1.5

Moneyline

-130

Total

O 46.5

Cincinnati Bengals

Spread

+1.5

Moneyline

+110

Total

U 46.5

"Shootout" may not be the word that comes to mind when you think about Sunday’s inter-conference contest between Cincinnati and Washington, but there are likely to be more points than you expect in the nation’s capital.

The Bengals only managed to score 10 points last week against Pittsburgh, but that came against a Steelers’ defense that ranks second in Football Outsiders DVOA. Sure, Washington is not chopped liver, boasting one of the NFL’s best defensive fronts, but they are beatable on the backend. The fact that Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow drops back to pass at the highest percent of any signal caller in the league should not only result in a number of big plays by Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, but also could allow Chase Young and crew to make plays that setup the Washington offense in Bengals territory.

On the other side of the ball, Washington is playing at a much higher pace than they have in years past. They also throw the ball above league average in neutral game scripts. The Football Team encounters a tasty matchup against a Bengals defense that has been extremely giving. Cincinnati has yielded 250 points through nine games, has given up a league high percentage of explosive plays on the ground (10 yards or more), and ranks 30th in allowing explosive plays through the air (15 yards or more). Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson are set up for success in this one.

Pick: Over 46.5


Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sun, November 22 2020, 6:00 PM

Baltimore Ravens

Spread

-6.5

Moneyline

-290

Total

O 49

Tennessee Titans

Spread

+6.5

Moneyline

+230

Total

U 49

It has been a little over 10 months since Tennessee went into Baltimore and dominated a Ravens team that was favored to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LIV. A lot has happened since then, to say the least, but what was most noteworthy was the way the Titans physically manhandled John Harbaugh’s team from start-to-finish.

The Titans have not played well of late, losing three of their last four, but they match up well against a Ravens teams that has struggled to stop opposing rushing attacks of late. Derrick Henry ran the ball 30 times for 195 yards in that playoff game last January. Expect Tennessee to once again give the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner the rock early and often.

Do not look for the Titans to win again by double-digits, but this one should remain close all the way in a huge game for both squads.

Take the points.

Pick: Titans +6.5


Scott Shapiro’s NFL ATS record on BetAmerica heading into Week 11: 13-14-3

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